I want us to think outside the box. As an important arm of the party, I want you to ponder over the future of the UDP. As the saying goes: future belongs to those who plan their future. Let’s identify where the party’s future lie. – Burama Sanneh
My Fellow Comrades,
My fellow brothers and sisters of the United Democractic Party, particularly those of the UK Chapter.
I have been humbled to be invited to participate in this very important Congress, which will undoubtedly help shape a brighter future for not only our Great party but the Gambia and Gambians in general.
For reasons beyond my control, I could not be with you. I’m however honoured to be with you in spirit. And I’m glad to share my little thoughts with you on video.
Fellow Party Comrades,
I want us to understand that collectively we have won the war but a greater battle remains. Dislodging a brutal dictator and winning landslide in parliamentary elections both make us feel good. Winning is not the issue but the real problem lies with maintaining the victory. How ready are we to consolidate our election victory? The party has a long history of better managing conflict. But we all know post conflict management as in the case of the Gambia is a lot harder. I want us to pause and ask ourselves: do we have a strategy to contain post conflict problems? Our failure to identify post conflict problems and deal with them will only cause colossal damage. I don’t want to see that happen and I don’t think any of us wants it either.
Fellow Distinguished Congress Delegates,
I want us to see this Congress as a soul searching gathering aimed at identifying our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Since the party’s success is tied to that of the Gambia, it behooves on us to double efforts. The very people who gave us victory must not be left in the cold. We need to reorganise and consolidate the already momentum we have gained. This is especially necessary at the grassroots level. Both the party’s leadership and its elected parliamentarians have greater roles to play here.
Whether we agree or not, the UDP’s success or failure depends on its leadership. I trust and will always trust our party’s leadership as long as it shepherds us well. However, I want the leadership to have a strategy on anything that divides us. It’s common for political party to be mired in factional crisis. We have seen how this problem has disintegrated and weakened the governing African National Congress in South Africa. The ANC – the party of Nelson Mandela – is today reeling with political injuries. I want the UDP leadership to think ahead of how to diffuse any separatist agenda. Our salvation lies in Unity.
I want us to think outside the box. As an important arm of the party, I want you to ponder over the future of the UDP. As the saying goes: future belongs to those who plan their future. Let’s identify where the party’s future lie. For instance, we need to know which voter demography handed over victory to us.
I wish to salute Mr. Saikou Saidily, the Man who has added value, meaning and flavour to the UDP. I admire Mr. Saidily’s intellect, patriotism and bravery to join the UDP. This is a Great Victory for the party. He tasks himself to be an Ambassador of the party, dissecting policy and political issues to the understanding of the layman. I want us to applaud Mr. Saidily for his selfless services to his Nation. It’s better late than never, Saikou Saidily. You are in the right place.
While the likes of Mr. Saidily are busy defending the party, I think the party should have a clear strategy on addressing toxic messages aimed at sowing seeds of discord. We have seen how some people have been bent on doing their best to paint a negative image of the UDP. I don’t think it’s wise to ignore these repeated negative propaganda. Let’s remember that repeated messages end up taking over.
I can’t conclude without touching on an issue that remains my obsession. As the Cream of every nation or institution, failure to integrate or include youths in leadership positions is not a winning formula. The integration of youths in leadership will help in transfer of power, which is chaotic every where. We have read how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had fully prepared his disciples for leadership. His death had left behind leadership vacuum.
In conclusion, I want us to study the strategies of our opponents. Knowing the opponent means winning 50% of the bout in advance.
On that note, I wish you all successful Congress. I pray that Allah guide and bless you all.
A fellow UDP Comrade